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I completely agree with jamietown. (jamietown, we should seriously find some time to drink Italians together Smile Also, where did you find the Sandrone for under $30?)

Of course, virtually anything made by Sandrone is, in my mind, wonderful.

Another bottling you should try to pick up is the Icardi Nebbiolo (the official name of the wine is: Icardi Langhe Nebbiolo Suris Jvan). Depending upon vintage, I find this wine to have a little more in common with a Rhone, whereas the Sandrone has a little more in common with a Burgundy. FYI: I believe the '98 Icardi Nebbiolo still holds the record for most consumed wine by me (though 1999 Finca Sobreno Seleccion Especial is catching up).

The Icardi should cost in the low to mid twenties and it is distributed by Vinifera, if you want to search for it. Sandrone is imported by Marc de Grazia which, in the DC area, is distributed by Bacchus. In other areas it is distributed by Michael Skurnik.

happy drinking!

"What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?" -- W.C. Fields
I suspect the “ten year minimum aging” rule overlooks many of the variables that ultimately determine when a Barolo (or a Barbaresco) is at its peak, not the least of which are the vintage, producer, and the way in which the particular wine is crafted. Many of the fruit-forward Barolo’s now available on the market are ready for consumption after just a few years of bottle sleep, and are being crafted with this in mind. A good example is the ’97 Stefano Farina Riserva – already this beauty offers a seductive Nebbiolo experience, and some might argue that additional sleep time won’t be to its benefit. Many of the ‘97’s are already hitting stride, and some of the “Piedmonte experts” have suggested that ’97 didn’t produce that many age-worthy examples. On the other hand, most of the ’96’s need at least 3-5 more years (even more in some cases) of bottle age before they’ll start to strut their stuff – it was a tannic, age-worthy vintage. 98 seems to have been a vintage that offers a little of both. While Clerico’s ’98 cru’s will take a long, long time to come around (because they’re crafted to be age-worthy), Cavalotto’s Barolo’s, with adequate decant time, are already drinking very well.

Steph – while the best of the grapes are almost always reserved for the Barolo hierarchy, the biggest difference in the “Langhe” Nebbiolo wines is the way they’re made. Many are blended with varying amounts of Barbera (and other grapes), and don’t spend the length of time aging in wood and/or the bottle that Barolo’s do. This helps keep the price generally down, although there are some expensive examples, while offering a good product that hits its peak at a younger age. They can be aged, but most don’t have the length of life that Barolo’s do.

Big Grin Big Grin Wink

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